LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky starter Greg Dombrowski tossed 5 2/3 strong innings Sunday and a trio of relievers combined to hold Tennessee scoreless as the Wildcats got back on the winning track with a 3-1 win against Tennessee at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (25-6-1, 5-6-1 Southeastern Conference), which is one of only two teams in the SEC to win at least one game in each league series in the past two seasons, was led at the plate by preseason All-American catcher Sean Coughlin, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Coughlin connected on his sixth home run of the season to help the Wildcats rally from a 1-0 deficit in the second inning. Neither team scored after the third inning.
Dombrowski struck out four batters and did not allow a walk, while Kentucky's three relievers combined to allow only one hit in the final 3 1/3 innings of the game. Scott Green earned his first save of the season and the fourth of his career. Green pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the final frame to secure the win for the Wildcats.
The Volunteers (20-13, 6-6 SEC) struck first as Danny Lima led off the second inning with a double deep down the right-field line and was driven in by Shawn Griffin's sacrifice fly to put Tennessee ahead 1-0.
Kentucky responded in its half of the second frame as Coughlin launched the first pitch of the inning over the right-field fence for his sixth home run of the season to knot the score at 1-1. Coughlin entered the weekend series tied for the NCAA lead in RBI, with 48. Matt McKinney walked on the next at-bat and came around to score on a fielder's choice by Jason Kipnis later in the inning to give the Wildcats a 2-1 edge.
UK added a run in the third when Mike Brown opened the inning with a double down the left-field line and scored on a throwing error by Lima, Tennessee's shortstop, to extend its advantage to 3-1.
The Volunteers threatened in the top of the eighth inning by loading the bases with two outs. With Tennessee's Griffin at the plate, Aaron Lovett entered the game in relief of Duran Ferguson and induced the Vols' left fielder into a ground out.
Kentucky returns to action Wednesday when it travels to the Derby City to take on intra-state rival Louisville. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. EDT and the game will be carried live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with Neil Price.
Team Records and Series Notes
-Kentucky improves to 25-6-1 with the victory, including a 5-6-1 mark in Southeastern Conference play, while Tennessee drops to 20-13 and 6-6 in league play.
-The Volunteers still lead the all-time series between the two schools, 154-130.
-The Wildcats are only one of two schools in the Southeastern Conference (Arkansas being the other) who have not been swept in a league series in each of the past two seasons.
-Kentucky returns to action Wednesday when it travels to the Derby City to take on intra-state rival Louisville. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. EDT.
Team Game Notes
-Kentucky recorded its 23rd double-digit hit performance of the season.
-The Wildcats have won 32 of their last 36 regular-season home games at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Individual Game Notes
-Antone DeJesus made his team-leading 62nd consecutive start in center field.
-DeJesus stole two bases in the game, tying him with Mike Brown for the team lead in that category. Each has 12 steals on the season.
-Sean Coughlin's home run in the second inning was his sixth of the season, tying Jason Kipnis for the team lead.
-Coughlin registered his team-leading 16th multi-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 at the plate to pace the Wildcats.
-Scott Green earned the save, pitching the final inning in 1-2-3 fashion. It was his first save of the season and the fourth of his career.
-Right fielder Keenan Wiley made his first career start.